Inspired by some genius pandan custard donuts at a ramen shop and Miss Hangry Pants (yes, brilliant blog name), I busted out these squishy treats while visiting Houston.
Pandan, sadly of no relation to pandas, is a leaf that gives a gently sweet, floral, complex flavor that's irresistibly paired with coconut. It's that flavor you can't quite describe in Thai and Vietnamese desserts.
Mochi is fast, easy, and makes you look fancy pants. Let's do it.
What you need:
16 oz box mochiko (glutinous sweet rice flour)
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
13.5 oz can coconut milk
1 3/4 c water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pandan extract (Look for it in Asian markets. It's scarily bright green.)
potato starch (for dusting. Cornstarch is probably fine, too)
9" x 13" pan (or in my case, 2 pans totaling 117 sq inches of surface area)
Cookie sheet or extra pan to put the pan on top of
What to do:
Heat oven to 350 F.
Combine mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a big bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine, coconut milk, water, vanilla, and pandan extracts.
Slowly pour liquid into dry ingredients, stirring with a fork as you go. It's gonna be lumpy. Keep stirring till it smooths out. It'll happen.
Line a pan with enough parchment paper so it hangs off the sides. Oil any pan surface not covered by parchment.
Pour batter into pan.
Cover pan tightly with foil.
Place pan on top of cookie sheet (this prevents the bottom from getting too brown).
Bake 50 min.
Remove from oven. Leave foil on. Let cool about 15 mins.
Transfer to fridge to chill overnight OR put in freezer for about 30 mins till mochi is thoroughly chilled. If your mochi is warm it will be way too sticky to handle. Just don't do it.
Cover a cutting board in a generous layer of potato starch.
Flip mochi out of pan onto cutting board. Peel off parchment.
Cover top and sides in more potato starch.
Trim off the tough edges.
Cut up mochi into fun shapes with a sharp knife.
Toss in potato starch so they won't stick to everything they touch.
Admire stack of mochi. Eat too many. Store at room temperature.